Hajj Concludes Without Epidemic

Take 2.3 million people.

(For perspective,that’s bigger than the population of 80 countries.)

Put them in an area measuring less than 450,000 sq meters.

(For perspective, that’s smaller than Vatican City, which is the smallest country in the world and has a total of 800 citizens.)

Keep them there for at least a week.

Finally,take H1N1 – the much-feared,super-contagious swine flu currently sweeping the world.

Ingredients for disaster – but the miracle is that in the Hajj this year, there was no mass outbreak, with were only 5 deaths and 73 proven cases of swine flu. Regrettable, but arguably unavoidable – and by any standards, I will say that it is a remarkable figure given the circumstances. Let’s put that into perspective.

5 fatalities/approx. 2,300,000 people = 0.0002% fatalities

73 cases of swine flu/2,300,000 = 0.003% swine flu victims

Tell me that’s not incredible.

(Note: The deaths included four people over the age of 70 with pre-existing illnesses that made them more vulnerable to disease – and the Saudi government had publicly requested governments not to send elderly citizens and pilgrims this year. One of the girls was a 17 year old – also previously ill and therefore susceptible.)


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